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  • Chubby Checker swept fans off their feet — literally — at the Classic Rock stage. The crowd at the Bakersfield Rock & Country Music & Art Festival on Saturday went crazy for the 73-year-old "Twist" performer.

    The day the music thrived: Bakersfield festival hits the right notes

    The schedule had Chubby Checker on the Legends stage at 8:40, the big finish to the inaugural Bakersfield Rock & Country Music and Art Festival at the Kern County Museum. But when Chubby Checker wants to go on at 3:40 on the Classic Rock stage, Chubby Checker goes on at 3:40 on the Classic Rock

  • Randy Fulce and Chrisy Keplinger dance together to music provided by Bakersfield's Blonde Faith at the Bakersfield rock stage.

    STEVEN MAYER: The festival from a golf cart - the only way to go

    Anyone lucky enough to have a golf cart at the Rock & Country Music & Art Festival in Bakersfield on Saturday recognized one important fact in about 39 seconds: Golf carts are GOLD. I was one of the fortunate few because, and I won’t lie, I cried to organizers days ahead of the event

  • Robert Price is The Californian's executive editor. Email him at rprice@bakersfield.com.

    SOUND OFF: Even political jokes need bipartisan balance

    This feedback forum is designed to give readers a way to voice criticisms and compliments or ask questions about The Californian’s news coverage. Your questions — which may be edited for space — are answered here each Saturday. Mark Powell wrote a May 19 column about some of the, um, unique

  •  California Chrome on a morning run with exercise rider Alberto Delgado before the 2014 Belmont Stakes. The horse fell short of winning the Triple Crown at the race.

    HERB BENHAM: California Chrome still shining brightly

    Steve Coburn's been there and “there” is good but the backside of “there” isn’t bad either. A year ago, Foothill grad Coburn had the hottest horse on the planet. Coburn, along with Perry Martin, own California Chrome, the electrifying thoroughbred that came from nowhere (not that Coalinga is

  • Brandon Gonzales married his longtime friend Sara McGaha in November. He died May 9 after a three-year battle with cancer.

    Brandon Gonzales, 26, dies following three-year battle with cancer

    Brandon Gonzales didn’t let cancer stop him from enjoying his wedding day. Nor did he let the increasing toll it took on his body dim his spirit in the months afterward. His wife said Gonzales was strong in his faith and believed whatever happened “was in God’s hands.” Gonzales, 26, died May

  • THE DISH: Serve your country, get a deal at a restaurant

    Along with providing a three-day weekend, Memorial Day serves as a time to honor fallen heroes and pay respect to veterans and active military members. And what better way to say thanks for your service than with some free food? Here are a couple of deals to consider. Domino’s is offering a free

  • Anne Santer with her stallion, Dream. Santer is being inducted into the Dressage Foundation's Century Club, an honor eligible to dressage riders whose age, combined with their horse's age, totals 100. Santer and Dream will complete a test Sunday that is required for Century Club membership.

    Stallion and owner: The ride of their lives is Sunday

    Anne Santer has loved horses since she was a little girl. Though she grew up without one to call her own, she often rode her uncle’s horse, offering to clean stalls in exchange for lessons. Many of her neighbors in Fresno had horses, and she’d ride any horse she could, she said. “By the time I was

  • Herb Benham

    HERB BENHAM: Artisanal stumps have been benched

    By the back gate is a stump bench. It has sat there for 15 years. I made it myself. “Do you think we can get rid of the stump bench?” Sue said. “I think it would look better if it wasn’t there for the party.” The “party” is Dad’s 90th. We’re hosting and it appears there is no role for a stump

  • Sunny skies due for holiday weekend

    The weather system that has been keeping Kern County cool and cloudy for the past few days will hit us with one more burst of clouds and maybe a little rain on Friday. Then it will fade away to sunny skies and warming temperatures over the weekend. And, at least for now, it will be the last

  • Planning Commission approves northwest retail center

    The Bakersfield Planning Commission unanimously approved a controversial shopping center proposed for an upscale northwest neighborhood Thursday evening over the objections of residents who worried traffic, noise and lighting would disrupt their “tranquility.” Area neighbors said they will appeal

  • Reports: Shooting of pregnant woman and her husband gang related

    The shooting of a pregnant woman and her husband earlier this month was a result of an altercation between associates of two Bakersfield criminal street gangs. The three men charged with attempted murder in connection with the shooting are associates of the Eastside Bakers criminal street gang,

  • Bakersfield Police investigate the scene of a traffic collision involving three vehicles at 8:35 a.m. Aug. 18 at Old River Road and Ming Avenue.

    Police response times down, council learns

    Bakersfield’s conservative proposed city budget contains as usual a variety of major road projects — and the promise improved police response times could get quicker still, the Bakersfield City Council learned Wednesday. Here’s what to keep in mind as the council continues to debate the nearly

  • LeAnn Rimes performs at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2008. Rimes is one of several headliners at an ambitious music festival May 23 at the Kern County Museum. Tickets are on sale now.

    Music festival sounds great - but will people go?

    George Martin’s idea of a music festival sounds a lot like his idea for a business conference: Don’t just give the people what they want; give them what they don’t yet know they want, plus the USC marching band, a Ferris wheel, car show, sports village, mechanical bull, crafts, fireworks and a nap.

  • About 1,000 people attended the inaugural Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival in 2013 with about 500 more turning out last year. “The word has gotten around," said David Dobbs, co-owner of Imbibe Wine & Spirits Merchant and organizer of the event. "I had to turn breweries away; this is the first year (for that). We had 30 last year, 43 this year."

    Lots of beer up in here: Festival on tap

    Since the first Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival in 2013, a number of events have flowed through town touting smaller-batch brews. But proving the tap has not run dry, the festival returns for its third year Saturday at the Cal State Bakersfield Amphitheater. In fact, according to David Dobbs, co-

  • Bank robbery suspect dies from gunshot wound following chase

    A suspected bank robber shot after leading police on a chase Tuesday has died. Leland Kane Smithson, 26, of Lancaster, died about 90 minutes after being shot at 10:23 a.m. in the 1000 block of East 18th Street, according to a coroner’s office news release. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

  • Eddie Money, center, with his children, who also play in his band. From left: Julian, Jesse and Desmond. Money will play Saturday at the Bakersfield Rock & Country Music & Art Festival.

    CESAREO GARASA: Music capital Saturday? Bakersfield

    The word that comes to mind to describe Saturday’s Bakersfield Rock & Country, Music & Arts Festival at Pioneer Village is “huge.” With dozens of acts, both national and local, the festival’s promoters have created an entertainment super-mall, where there will be something new